More than 200 people called into the KCTV5 It's Your Morning phone bank Friday to learn more about bone marrow donation.
A team of experts from the University of Kansas Cancer Center and Be The Match registry answered viewers' questions and concerns about the process to becoming a donor.
Phone operators said almost every one of the 200-plus callers committed to signing up.
The effort was inspired by Kris Miner of Leawood, KS, a wife and mother of three battling a rare form of lymphoma cancer only 10 people in the world share. She hasn't found a match in the 17 million registered bone marrow donors.
Kris and her husband Ken have launched a social media campaign hoping to raise awareness and save more lives.
"God willing, it will pan out for this transplant but even if it doesn't, it will surely pan out for someone else. The more patients who are in the registry, the better it is, the more likely it is we'll find a match," Dr. Joseph McGuirk, Director of UKCC's Bone Marrow Transplant unit said.
Kris began a new round of chemotherapy this week after doctors discovered new tumors.
"What we need to accomplish before we go to transplant is reducing the cancer cells to a very low minimal level. That's the best predictor as to how likely a transplant is going to be successful," McGuirk said.
Ken Miner said it was an amazing coincidence ABC anchor Robin Roberts announced her battle against bone marrow cancer just hours after KCTV5 aired the Miners' story.
Be The Match said the process to get signed up is easy, free and painless.
Anyone can sign up online at bethematch.org, and a cotton swab kit will be mailed to their home. Doctors said 75 percent of donors will give through a blood drawing process – it no longer requires the prior surgical procedure.
Be The Match said minorities are underrepresented and they need more minority groups to register as well.
Kris Miner's employer, LionShare Marketing, is holding a donor drive Thursday, June 21, from 3 to 7 p.m. at 7830 Barton, Lenexa.
The "Swab Soiree" will allow donors to register and complete the swab onsite.
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